The most recent episode of Star Trek: Discovery, “The Butcher’s Knife Cares Not for the Lamb’s Cry” was a fascinating exploration of Star Trek’s themes, gave us lots more information about the Discovery’s spore drive, and featured a reappearance and continuation of the story of the Klingons in the wake of the death of T’Kuvma.
And as always, there were plenty of connections to the broader Star Trek canon. Let’s explore them!
1. Matter Synthesis Complete
The episode begins with a great shot of a close up shot of the matter synthesis device in Burnham’s quarters as it is replicating a Starfleet uniform.
The device is likely a precursor to the replicator seen in later incarnations of the series, capable of replicating any kind of matter.
2. Battle Simulation
When First Officer Saru and Burnham exit the turbolift, they find the captain and bridge crew engaged in a battle simulation with two Klingon birds of prey.
Battle simulations have appeared before in Star Trek multiple times – the Discovery’s bridge crew performed only slightly better than Tuvok’s trainees in the Star Trek: Voyager episode “Learning Curve!”
3. Birds of Prey
The Klingon ships attacking the Discovery during its battle simulation are identified as Klingon birds of prey, which are equipped with wings in the same swept-down position as the most common iteration of the bird of prey seen in earlier Star Trek shows.
4. Corvan II
The Corvan star system, which appears on the Star Trek: Star Charts as near the Federation/Klingon border is home to the Corvan gilvo, which by the 24th century has become an endangered species.
The creature appears in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode “New Ground.” Perhaps the reason the Corvan gilvo is endangered is related to the dilithium mining on the planet, or perhaps a consequence of the Klingon bombardment?
5. Faces of the Federation
The logo of the United Federation of Planets, which appears before the distress signal from Corvan II starts (left, above), is the same logo as that which appears on the front cover of Franz Joseph’s 1975 Star Trek: Star Fleet Technical Manual (right) – with male and female faces in profile.
6. Transporters in Crimson
While Federation transporter beams operate in a golden-white hue during the 22nd Century, Klingon transporters have been colored red for decades of Trek production, dating back to Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
In “The Butcher’s Knife…,” both Kol and L’Rell beam across the stars on bright red transporter beams in keeping with the Empire’s technological traditions.
7. Discovery Dishware
When Captain Lorca receives a transmission from Admiral Cornwell, he is eating. The plate has the name “USS Discovery” embossed around the side, echoing back to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country where both the USS Enterprise and the USS Excelsior have dinnerware embossed with the names of their starships.
8. Tellarite Features
Dr. Culber chastises Lt. Stamets for having an agitated conversation with Captain Lorca while he is trying to fix his broken nose, and tells Stamets that he if he does not hold still his nose will end up looking like a Tellarite.
Tellarites are one of the Federation’s founding races, and have very distinctive noses!
9. Two Truths and a Trek
The old Star Trek tradition of characters rattling off lists of people, historical events, or places that include two grounded in reality and one fictional recurs in this episode.
Captain Lorca asks Lt. Stamets if he wants to be remembered in the same breath as the Wright Brothers, Elon Musk, and Zefram Cochrane, the first call out to the inventor of warp drive thus far on Discovery.
10. A Feast Fit for a Klingon
When Voq and L’Rell return to the sarcophagus ship with the dilithium reaction chamber from the USS Shenzhou, they find that Kol has won the loyalty of the rest of the crew by providing them with food and supplies that they desperately need.
The feast that Kol lays on for the crew is reminiscent of Klingon feasts from episodes past, including “A Matter of Honor.” We think we spot pipius claw on the menu, plus a barrel of bloodwine to go with the meal.
11. Holographic Farewell
In this episode we learn that Captain Georgiou recorded a holographic last will and testament for Burnham, designed to be delivered in the event of her death.
The message, which Burnham views at the end of the episode, hearkens back to other Star Trek characters, such as Tasha Yar, who did the same. The crew of the Enterprise-D viewed Yar’s holographic last will and testament after her death in the episode “Skin of Evil.”
We can’t wait to see what else Star Trek: Discovery‘s writers bring to the table in this weekend’s new episode, “Choose Your Pain.” Keep your eyes peeled for more canon connections in the future!